How to write a résumé

A résumé provides a well-thought-out, concise picture of you, the job seeker, as if it were a personal sales brochure. It needs to communicate quickly, clearly, and accurately a summary of your skills, qualifications, experience, credentials, and accomplishments. It is generally the first impression of you a potential employer gets.

Seek assistance from others who will be honest, yet complimentary. Ask people who review resumes in their job.

Writing your résumé

  • Keep it brief – selling your abilities and skills within the first five to 20 seconds. A one-page résumé is most desirable.
  • It should emphasise your special points, highlight achievements and the end result of your activities and contributions, and indicate the techniques and processes you are an expert at implementing. Do not downplay your achievements.
  • Talk about your most recent jobs first and more substantially than others.
  • Avoid overemphasising your educational background. If you have been out of school for more than five years, your résumé should be weighted in the direction of work experience and accomplishments.
  • Avoid gaps between employment dates. List jobs by year, not by month and year, and give a reason for periods of unemployment.
  • Avoid dramatic or fancy type of styling and coloured paper.

The following are things that you definitely need to include in your résumé.

  • Name, current address (only suburb and postcode needed), telephone number, and e-mail address. (It is illegal for Australian employers to request your age, marital status, religion or nationality. Don't use your contact details at your current employer!)
  • Summary. This includes non-skilled attributes and strengths, as well as professional skills, abilities, and experience.
  • Professional experience. Show dates (reverse order from present), name of company, job title, and job description (responsibilities, duties, achievements, and contributions).
  • Education. Name of institution, degree(s), year(s) attended or degree(s) earned, and special honours, awards, or recognition.
  • Other (if room is available). These would include professional memberships, civic or social memberships, awards, honours, publications, and accomplishments.

A résumé provides the opportunity for a personal employment interview. For that reason, the development of a quality résumé is one of the most important aspects of a job search.

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